Ephelcystic Nu Definition


Euphonic nu /ν/ (n). Consonant /ν/ affixed to vowel endings of some Ancient Greek grammatical forms to produce euphony : in prevocalic position, to avoid sounding two vowels in a row (hiatus ), and prevent elision or fusion of vowels contracting into one sound (crasis ). In preconsonantal coda position, /ν/ may be added to create a long syllable in poetic meter . Nu is also usually written before a pause at the end of a clause in prose or the end of a verse in poetry .


Paragogic nu /ν/ (n), understood as an allomorph of certain Greek morphemic forms otherwise terminating in vowels /ε/ (e) or /ι/ (i), viz. third person verb and third declension dative plural noun forms, phonemically represented as -ε(ν) (-e(n)) and -ι(ν) (-i(n)) . An early Attic -Ionic innovation, nu paragoge spread through the Hellenic world; inclusion or omission of /ν/ in ancient inscriptions is so variable and unpredictable as to suggest morphemes with and without /ν/ occurred in free variation , not bound to the prescriptive rules of phonetic harmony codified by later Byzantine grammarians .


Origin of Ephelcystic Nu

  • From Ancient Greek EPHELCYSTIC NU EPHELCYSTIC NU νῦ ἐφελκυστικόν (nû ephelkustikón, literally “attractive nu; dragged-in nu; affixed nu"), from the letter νῦ (nû) + ἐφελκυστικός (ephelkustikós, “attracted to; drawn towards") from ἐφέλκυσις (ephélkusis, “attraction, pull; affixation") . Shortened from earlier ἐφελκυστικόν τοῦ νῦ (ephelkustikón toû nû, literally “pulling in nu; attracting nu") , transferring the epithet to the letter nu itself.

    From Wiktionary

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